Updated from 4:34 p.m. EST
topped estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter, but a dour outlook for fiscal 2009 pressured the company's stock in late trading.
The San Diego-based maker of chips for cell phones said net income fell 22% in the quarter to $878 million, or 52 cents a share, from $1.13 billion, or 67 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding various items, including license and settlement agreements with
, Qualcomm earned 63 cents a share, exceeding analysts' expectations of 60 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue grew 44% year over year and 20% sequentially to $3.33 billion, well ahead of Wall Street's average forecast of $2.86 billion. Qualcomm added that free cash flow fell 13% from a year ago to $796 million.
In July, Qualcomm said fourth-quarter revenue would fall in a range of $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion with earnings of 49 cents to 51 cents a share. Qualcomm's guidance came prior to accounting for the
Looking ahead, Qualcomm expects fiscal first-quarter earnings of 46 cents to 50 cents a share on revenue of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 61 cents a share on revenue of $2.9 billion.
For fiscal 2009, Qualcomm forecasted earnings of $2 to $2.10 a share on revenue of $10.2 billion to $10.8 billion. The figures represent a decline from fiscal 2008 and fall short of the Thomson Reuters average analyst estimate for a profit of $2.59 a share on $12.16 billion in sales.
During Qualcomm's conference call, CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs said that information collected from the company's customers and industry partners forced it to lower estimates significantly in the last few weeks, mostly due to lower demand for its chipsets.
Jacobs also said it is seeing a significant contraction in the inventory channel, which is pressuring chipset demand. However, the reduced inventory levels projected for the first half of 2009 are not sustainable and should recover modestly in the latter half of the year, he said.
Jacobs added that while Qualcomm is still estimating strong growth for the company's products driven by a shift in emerging markets, "it is less than we would've forecasted several weeks ago."
Shares of Qualcomm fell by $2.12, or 6%, to $33.05 during Thursday's session and were down another 1% in late trading. Fellow handset maker Nokia was slipping nearly 1% in the afterhours session. Chipmakers
were mostly flat in late trading.